Final Project Report on the Marketing Strategies of Pharma Industry. - PDF by ull84286


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									H E A LT H C A R E

Pharmaceutical Branding Strategies
Thought leader perspectives on brand building, effective
communication and future brand models

By Steven Seget
Drug companies say cheaper generics are not safe and that it takes a long time to
develop new drugs or replace those that have gone off patent. However, media reports
about unavailable generics, high costs of prescriptions, litigation, warnings about
products they thought were safe and probes into marketing and manufacturing practices
raise questions. Combine that with reports of double digit company profits and you end
up with a distrusting audience who believes drug companies put profits before people.

The ability to communicate effectively becomes even more critical, but the
pharmaceutical industry has been slow to understand how to keep it simple. While
companies have become a lot better at reaching out, there is still some confusion
between marketing messages and media messages. It is not enough to simply develop
messages you want to deliver; you have to put yourself in the shoes of your audience in
order for those messages to truly mean anything. Otherwise, the messages are simply
promotional and self serving. People do not care that company X has 50 years of
experience. If company Y has 6 months experience but develops a drug that cures
cancer, that is all people care about. Spokespeople must become better at humanizing
the science and explaining what is it they do and how the information will transform
patient lives.

Pharmaceutical companies are not the bad guys, they are the good guys. They live to
solve problems and because of them, people are living longer and gaining quality of
life that they might not have had in the past. However, listeners do not necessarily take
what someone says at face value. They feel first and think about what they feel. To
truly impact when communicating, spokespeople have to reach people in their gut and
in their heart. Until you hit them where they really ‘feel’ they are not going to listen to

Impact of media communications on pharma brands

The public does not care about pharmaceutical ‘brands’. They do not care whether you
make money, or whether you stay in business or fold tomorrow. They care about the
benefits and what your ‘brand’ means to them. How would it help me? How would it

for Merck’s anti-hypertensive portfolio and, in the follow-through of the ‘AA’ in the
graphics of the wordmark, cemented it as a meaningful mnemonic for the prescribing

   Figure 2.2: The AA encoding in the angiotension antagonist brands Hyzaar
                                 and Cozaar

  Source: Interbrand Wood Healthcare                                   Business Insights

Another example of this approach is Namenda, an Alzheimer’s treatment. Leveraging
terminology specific to a new class can play a key part in taking ownership of ‘white
space’ – in the case of Namenda, an NMDA receptor agonist, encoding NMDA (N-
methyl-D-aspartate) within the name. Fuzeon, as a leading fusion inhibition therapy in
HIV, also adopts a classic blocking strategy, by cornering the concept of Fusion
inhibition in the prefix.

The position of being first in a new class is a privileged one, and thus one to be
signaled in clear and distinctive terms. This extends beyond the development of a brand
name, to leveraging supportive language, such as class nomenclature.

A new class will serve as a positioning tool to separate out the compound from other
treatments in the same therapeutic category. In so doing, a company gives itself the
opportunity of fighting the marketing battle on new terms, which affords the advantage
of a platform for differentiation and a means by which to take ownership of ‘newness’
and of the story behind the science. Pharmaceutical companies that are proactively
creating this nomenclature give themselves this edge, instead of having a classification
handed to them.

mouth, that already starts to create the brand image that will ultimately reside in
customers minds. Even if you do not do any specific branding related activities, the
brand image will still be formed. So it is best to start early and purposefully.

    Figure 4.11: The highly complex, time consuming and costly stages between
      the initial idea for a new product and it actually being available in the

           New Product Concept Generation (ongoing)

           (1 year)

                         Project        Ongoing scientific support
                                        Pre-Clinical    Pre-Clinical
                                        R&D             R&D
                                        (1 year)        (ongoing up until registration)

                                                                                          Ongoing throughout development process
                                                                       (7-10 years)

                                                        Phase 1

                                                                        Phase 2

                                                                                          Phase 3


                                                                                                                        POM (Rx)    Clinical
                                                                                                                       Pre-Launch   Phase 4 (ongoing)

                                                                                                                                                  Patent Expiry
                                                                                                                                    POM (Rx)

                                                                                                                                                  POM to P


                                                                   Synchronised Counsel at Every Step?

  Source: Jeff Daniels                                                                                                                                  Business Insights

Out of 10,000 ideas that begin in the laboratory, just 10 will ever reach the stage where
they are tested on human beings. Out of these, one may finally reach market. The entire
process represents one of the most significant investments any pharma company can
make, both in terms of capital investment and manpower. One leading company –
Sanofi-Aventis – recently published that the total average cost of each product that
eventually reaches market is €800 million, while Novartis has put the figure at €1,000
million. Where the cost of planned brand development within this overall drug


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